Commentary

As election season approaches, beware of the ‘b-word’

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Today’s political climate is exceptionally partisan and overly sensationalized. It’s that way on purpose. Stoking emotional fires leads to more donations and free, earned media attention for politicians.

Throwing “red meat” to the base helps partisan candidates build their foundation of support and consequently, creates a piggy bank full of I.O.U. favors owed to the special interests and constituencies that help elect a candidate. This tactic is especially the norm during primary election season. Candidates normally aren’t successfully elected by “the base” alone however so, as things progress toward the general election season, they lay down some AstroTurf. It’s call: “bipartisan.”

Bipartisan, bipartisanship, etc. is a head fake by incumbent politicians to throw off voters and distract from their voting records. They roll out the b-word like a “Men in Black” memory eraser in order to try and get people to forget just how many times they voted against their interests.

Laying down some b-word AstroTurf normally revolves around a benign stance or issue. Meaning, whatever they’re saying or “doing” really doesn’t mean much at all. At the eleventh hour, when public opinion is clear, politicians take a stance that really doesn’t mean much. Often, it’s when their challenger has been out on front of an issue and the incumbent realizes that they were on the other side of the issue or hid out without public comment. Or perhaps more bluntly stated, didn’t serve the people they were supposed to represent.

As previously mentioned, it distracts from their voting record on things such as insane government spending, supporting Red Flag gun laws, eliminating the Electoral College, and championing new laws that strangle small business.

This attempt to lay down bipartisan AstroTurf over a horrendous voting record is about as sophisticated as laying down cheap linoleum over hard wood floors.

As we move towards the general election season we’ll hear the b-word much more frequently in an attempt to cover up past voting record transgressions. When bipartisan is used the voter should really hear other b-consonant words: buyer beware.

About Matt Leonard

Matthew Leonard, of Auburn, is a multi-tour combat veteran, former chamber of commerce president, business owner, and current candidate for the Maine State Senate. Leonard can be reached at mattjleonard@gmail.com.

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